When driving on New York City’s crowded streets and highways, it’s absolutely crucial to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Even taking a couple seconds to check your phone, take a bite of food, or to turn around and shush your children creates a large enough window for a serious accident to occur. When driving in two-way traffic, a slight lapse in judgment can easily result in drifting into oncoming traffic and causing a head-on collision. When this happens, everyone involved in the crash is at risk of severe injury or even death. The victims of these accidents often face long and painful recovery periods, and sometimes their injuries are permanent or fatal. Even though head-on collisions only account for about 2% of traffic accidents, they make up over 10% of fatal accidents. Victims of head-on collisions and their families deserve financial support for personal and economic setbacks related to their injuries.
If you or someone you love was injured or even killed in a head-on collision caused by a negligent driver, our Queens car accident lawyers want to help your family. While New York’s no-fault insurance system will cover some of the damages related to your accident, these payments often fail to consider the full scope of damages suffered by accident victims. A personal injury lawsuit can help account for setbacks outside of medical bills, but filing one of these lawsuits is complicated in New York. We advise speaking with an experienced Queens personal injury lawyer about your situation if you want to understand more about your legal options after a head-on collision.
When Can You File A Car Accident Lawsuit In New York?
In order to have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Queens, you must meet the state’s requirements for a “serious injury.” In most head-on collisions, the injuries will be severe enough to warrant a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The nine categories of “serious injury” under New York state law include:
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent loss of use of body part, member, function, or body system
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent significant limitation of body organ or member
- Significant limitation of body function or system
- Injuries which impair ability to perform work or daily tasks for 90 days or more
While categories like death or loss of fetus may be obvious, some of these other categories will require the careful presentation of medical evidence, and in most cases, testimony from a medical expert. It’s important for victims to find a lawyer who has experience gathering this type of evidence and effectively presenting it in a court of law.
Common Causes Of Head-On Collisions
In most head-on collisions, the driver was either distracted or impaired in some way. Common examples of negligent driving in these accidents include:
- Distracted Driving – Texting and using your smartphone, eating, drinking, grooming, applying makeup, talking with passengers, using a navigation system, and lighting a cigarette are common examples of distracted driving. These activities all divert your attention from the road, which greatly increases the odds of drifting out of your lane and causing a serious head-on collision
- Drunk Driving – We all know that driving while intoxicated impairs our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Your reaction time, motor skills, and mental functioning are all impaired while under the influence of alcohol – skills which are all of the utmost importance while behind the wheel.
- Drowsy Driving – Driving without enough sleep can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Just like alcohol, a lack of sleep impairs reaction time, motor skills, and cognitive functioning. There’s also the risk that you’ll fall asleep at the wheel and drift into oncoming traffic.
The large majority of head-on collisions can be attributed to one of these three common causes. The police and other investigators will examine the scene and evidence to determine how the accident occurred and who may have been at fault for causing it.
Legal Guidance For Victims Head-On Collisions
As we’ve mentioned, filing a personal injury lawsuit as the victim of a car accident is more difficult in New York, compared to other states. You’ll need to demonstrate that your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, which is more difficult than it appears on the service. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, as limiting and denying payouts boosts their profits. These companies also have teams of lawyers who specialize in denying claims. In order to have a fair chance to secure a settlement or win in civil court, you’ll need legal guidance from your own experienced Queens car accident lawyer.
The Queens personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman specialize in helping the victims of serious accidents recover the financial support they deserve. If you lost a loved one in one of these accidents, we can help you find justice and support through a wrongful death lawsuit. To find out more about your legal options in the wake of a serious car accident, get in touch with us today and learn more in a free consultation.